[Ads-l] more on kibosh

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sat Aug 11 06:41:03 EDT 2018

The broadside "Penal Servitude!" that mentions "the kibosh...the lash" was dated circa 1830 by John Alexander Ferguson, the collector, donor, and author of the well-regarded seven-volume Bibliography of Australia.

One way to check whether a date in the early 1830s appears valid (besides reading Origin of Kibosh...) is to read chapter one, "Convictism I 1828-40," in F. G. Clarke's The Land of Contarieties: British Attitudes to the Australian Colonies 1828-1855 (Melbourne University Press, 1977) in which (p. 5) "Penal Servitude!" is quoted in part and dated c. 1830 amidst documented concerns of that time. To take one example (p. 8): "E. [Edward] G. Stanley, in 1833, made an attempt to restore an element of menace and instructive warning to a sentence of transportation....In August 1833, Stanley informed [Australian Colonial] Governors Bourke and Arthur that assignment was considered by many in Britain to be a state of 'comparative ease and freedom from restraint.'" Stanley went on to advise more severe measures. Sounds like the setting of "Penal Servitude!"

OED's 1844 for Bobbie (policeman) may now be antedated; union meaning workhouse may have existed before 1830 (it was the means of instituting them that changed); and there was an already-reported London-printed fictional mention of a "Mr. Kybosh" (not a real family name) in 1831.

Further, a version of "Penal Servitude" was printed, reprinted, in Glasgow in 1856, as a song (yes, a ballad song, sung, with the chorus indicated as spoken), and noted as a "favourite" song--hence, not a new one.

Stephen Goranson


Stephen Goranson's Home Page - Duke University<http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/>
"Celsus of Pergamum: Locating a Critic of Early Christianity," Ch. 30 in The Archaeology of Difference: Gender, Ethnicity, Class and the "Other" in Antiquity: Studies in Honor of Eric M. Meyers (AASOR 60/61, 2007 ...

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